London, United Kingdom, November 30, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- Gerontologist Leonard Hayflick (born 20 May 1928) is widely known for his research in cell biology and the ageing process. In 1961, he discovered that human cells have a limited capacity for replication before dying out, this was coined the "Hayflick limit." He also produced the first oral polio vaccine – work which contributed to significant virus vaccine development.
Hayflick obtained a PhD in his home state institution, the University of Pennsylvania, prior to embarking on an academic career which included professorships in Texas, Florida and California. He is an associate of many distinguished international scientific committees, and is a past winner of the Sandoz Prize for Gerontological Research. In 1979 he was awarded a major scientific research grant by the National Institute on Aging on the basis of his expertise in the field. Subsequently, in the 1990s, he authored How and Why We Age, a book which suggests that the scientific understanding of aging has yet to be fully unravelled.
In these absorbing video clips, Hayflick recalls his early fascination with science: "I had some innate fascination with scientific things... I was enrolled in a course of first year chemistry, and I aggravated the teacher very much because in several cases I tried to correct what he was saying, in respect to some chemical reactions."
Hayflick explains the process of the "Hayflick limit," and reveals the origin of the term: "[There is] a period when the cells have stopped dividing, [which] people generally have called... the 'Hayflick limit.' The derivation occurred in the mid ’60s by... Sir [Frank] Macfarlane Burnet, an Australian Nobel Prize laureate... who did a book in which he discussed ageing, and in that book he called what I had observed the “Hayflick limit”’.
He also talks about the global distribution of vaccines as a result of his work on the WI-38 cell strain: "The [World Health Organisation] funded me to establish another bank of cells in Moscow, for distribution among Iron Curtain countries. Several countries wanted their own strain for purposes of national pride, which is understandable, of course. They’re very easy to make, following my recipe. [WI-38] is used even to this day."
This in-depth new footage of Hayflick can be watched as a number of short video clips. All Web of Stories videos are easy to share with friends and colleagues, and may be embedded into personal blogs and websites.